“Happy-Go-Lucky,” by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Co.)
Almost everyone has a dysfunctional family, but few highlight the funny, embarrassing, and even disturbing quirks of their relatives, like author and humorist David Sedaris.
Anyone reading Sedaris’s essays in The New Yorker magazine knows about her large Greek American family and her boyfriend, Hugh, who form a strange but loving ensemble. In an unforgettable article nearly a decade ago, Sedaris also wrote about his sister Tiffany’s suicide, “We’re five now.”
In “Happy-Go-Lucky”, a new collection of poignant, honest and funny essays, Sedaris is upset when he notices crepe-like skin between a sister’s chest and neck, lamenting that she once Beautiful sisters are getting old.
“It just feels cruel,” he says.
Writing about his teen years, Sedaris is simultaneously amusing and brutal, while uncovering the irony of his family and life in general.
In one story, their father, Lu, leads a sister naked out of the bath. In another, Lou submits young David to a humiliating ordeal when he claims to be ill.
Elsewhere in this latest collection of essays, Sedaris sheds a harsh light on her experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, from grocery shopping to returning to nonstop travel for work, walking through empty airports, past closed businesses, closed lounges, Painting a somewhat disturbing picture of life in America today.
In the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, he initially encounters what appears to be a fig that turns into a turd, most likely a dog.
“What has this world come to?” She wondered.
Sedaris also reflects on the little things in pre-pandemic life that he never appreciated before: being handed a restaurant menu, reading simple text messages over a stranger’s shoulder.
“The America I saw while touring in the fall of 2012 was exhausted and war-torn,” Sedaris wrote in an excerpt from the book, titled “Lucky-Go-Happy,” published in The New Yorker this spring. Essay. “Its sidewalks were broken, its mailboxes were rammed.”
Visiting a store or a restaurant, which he recalled from an earlier visit, he found “the plywood clogged up, or perhaps burned, which blocked the doors covered with graffiti.”
But the most frightening image was that of a man Sedaris never met face-to-face.
It was a young woman who she imagined owned objects she saw in a gutter near a luggage carousel at an airport: among them two pairs of panties, three AA batteries, and a brush with long strawberry-blonde hair. .
“I thought about him for months to come,” he wrote. “Surprise, as I moved from place to place in this divided, green country of ours, where she was and what she imagined had become her panties.”